The University of Akron men’s soccer team continues to take on a new look.
Zips coach Caleb Porter announced the addition of eight more players for the 2011 season that will join eight others who committed to UA in February.
The 16 new players will help UA as it reloads in an attempt to defend its national title victory with just four returning starters.
“This has certainly been a grueling, seven-month process to reload our team to a level on-par with our standards,” Porter said. “After the spring season, we felt there were still some major holes to fill. But with the addition of this final group of talented players, I am satisfied we are finally there.”
Striker Akiel Barrett is joined by midfielders Dominic Bonilla, Zach Portillos, Aodhan Quinn and Tony Walls, defender David Mayer and goalkeepers Jacob Fenlason and Jean Pierre Van Der Merwe as the newest Zips.
The team is transitioning after losing seven starters from last year’s team, who now are now playing professionally in Major League Soccer, and others who decided to transfer.
The NCAA permits men’s soccer teams to give out 9.9 athletic scholarships. Porter and his staff divide those scholarships as they see fit. Several of the Zips players are on academic scholarships.
Porter said the team had a 3.51 cumulative grade point average for this past fall semester and a 3.42 cumulative gpa for the spring semester.
Five of the eight newcomers are freshmen and the other three are transfers.
“We believe there are now quality personnel and depth in every position, and we should have all the pieces we need to put a championship caliber team together in 2011,” Porter said. “We are excited to welcome this group to theAkronfamily and I look forward to their contributions.”
Walls, a transfer from Wisconsin-Green Bay, will have one year of eligibility remaining. He was named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List in 2010 and-recorded seven goals and four assists. He earned the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year as a freshman and is a three-time all-league honoree.
Quinn, a transfer from Bradley, will have three years of eligibility remaining. He was the top freshman in the Missouri Valley Conference last season after leading the Braves to a conference tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance with three goals and a team-high 10 assists.
Quinn, is the son of Brian Quinn, who played in the English Premier League during the 1980s and earned 48 caps for the U.S. National Team from 1991-94.
Portillos, a transfer from the University of Washington, will have three years of eligibility remaining. Last season with the Huskies, he was named the team's Rookie of the Year after recording two goals and one assist.
Bonilla, a 2010 ESPN Rise first-team All-American, will be a freshman. He was named the Georgia Class 5A Player of the Year and the U.S. Youth Soccer Most Valuable Player.
Barrett (Kingston, Jamaica), Fenlason (San Diego, Calif.), Van Der Merwe (Krugersdorp, South Africa) and Mayer (Wigan, England) will each be freshmen.
Sophomore Darren Mattocks and juniors David Meves, Scott Caldwell and Chad Barson are UA’s returning starters. There are seven other returnees on the roster.
Porter added defenders DeAndre Yedlin, Kayvon Afsarifard, Kyle Culbertson and Bryan Gallego in February along with midfielders Wil Trapp, Luke Holmes and David Murrow and forward Andy Chiu.